We believe everyone deserves the chance to Begin Anew!

At Begin Anew, our mission is to empower individuals in Middle Tennessee to overcome obstacles caused by poverty by providing education, mentoring, and resources.

Mariam Barsoum 2019 ESL 3 Graduate

2019 HiSET Graduate Elizabeth Cain Thanks Begin Anew!

In second grade, my parents divorced, and my mom moved me to Alabama to live with her grandmother. I always liked school, however, I was always told that I just couldn’t retain information enough to make good grades. Once I was diagnosed with ADHD, I was given opportunities for special classes. I found that the teachers there just wanted to do my work for me and not take the time to explain what was going on. In the 9th grade, I was told that my grades were so bad that I was going to have to repeat the grade. I got my mom’s permission to quit school and stayed home to take care of my grandmother who was already showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

My father who lived in Tennessee had always encouraged me to go back to school, but I didn’t believe that I was smart enough to do it. I eventually moved back to Tennessee after a couple of tries of living with my dad when I found out that I was pregnant. All that my dad had tried to tell me really hit home, and I realized that I needed to get my High School diploma. I was tired of getting dead end jobs that barely covered the food bill. I had tried a couple of places that helped with GED prep, but I found it hard to stay there as it was so impersonal.

I enrolled at Begin Anew and completed an application and assessment to determine exactly what I would need to study. I was sure that I would be told that I was going to have a long road ahead of me in trying to succeed. Instead after the assessment, Angela (Angela Good, Williamson County Women's Program Director) showed me the results and told me that I was very smart and could do this. This is the first time that I had ever been told by anyone that I was smart enough to do this. My motivation had been to finish before the baby comes, but I truly want to complete this not only for my baby but for me as well. I don’t have a car at this time and rely on my family to get me to classes from Thompson’s Station where I live. When they are unable to take me, I call an Uber to ensure that I get there because I really feel that I can succeed at this and I truly feel that everyone at Begin Anew feels that way too. It was interesting to learn that my Uber driver had graduated from the program at Begin Anew that I'm now in!

The tutors at Begin Anew were so patient and kind and have worked with me in each of the subjects that I needed help in. My goal after the baby is born is to walk across the stage to show my family my accomplishments and to enroll at Columbia State. I have always wanted to be in cosmetology, but now I don’t know, I could be anything I really want to be.

--Beth Cain, Prior to her 2019 Begin Anew HiSET Graduation Ceremony

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